Even If You Don't Feel Good...

Many people have seen or experienced the discomfort of wearing hospital gowns, constantly struggling to keep their gaping slits closed while trying in vain to maintain some dignity.

To answer the indignant cries of patients, a New Jersey hospital has decided to give those gowns some glamour, reports CBS News Health Correspondent Dr. Emily Senay.

Velcro, snaps, and drawstrings have replaced the open slit, but maintain the easy access for doctors and nurses.

"They look as though they were very updated pajamas or gowns [you would wear] at your own house," says John P. Ferguson, president of University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J.

The New Jersey hospital unveiled the new clothing line Tuesday at a press preview at Manhattan's Rainbow Room to cheers from the audience.

Designed by Cynthia Rowley, whose clothing lines have received critical praise, the patient-wear was worn by models who looked anything but ill.

"We looked around the whole nation and there was no place that really sold patient gowns that were adequate, so we decided we had to get our own designer," Ferguson says.

When the clothing is rolled out at the hospital in about six months, women will be wearing a mid-calf length gown with a mock turtleneck and three-quarter length sleeves with snaps. Men will get to wear drawstring pants, a short sleeve shirt and a matching robe, and children, an ankle-length gown and drawstring pants.

The clothing comes in colors too: red, black, blue, green, pink and white.

Rowley's spokesperson, Celeste Miller, explained the designer's point of view.

"She honestly feels that the way a patient feels and looks on the outside does effect the way one feels on the inside," Miller says.

Currently, white hospital gowns cost the hospital about $6 a piece. Ferguson said the price likely won't increase because the new clothing is made out of the same material as the gowns -- cotton.

Patients also will receive a bag of designer essentials for any hospital stay: hand cream, lip balm, soap and facial cleanser.

"I think that everybody is really going to enjoy this," Ferguson says. "I'm hoping that there's not too much pilferage with the pajamas and gowns."

Patients at the hospital can look forward to wearing some of the new fashions as early as this fall.